I took a look back at all the blog articles on this site and realized that I really don’t write that often about… well, writing. With over 1,825 articles on this site and a host of articles on other sites, it seems I’ve only written about or mentioned the subject of writing only 72 times. That’s around 4% of all the things I’ve written about on this blog. As someone who believes that the written word is the most important thing when it comes to communications, whether it’s blogging, email, or pretty much anything else where actual writing is concerned, that’s a major shame!

Embraced by Words
Robbert van der
Steeg
via Compfight

What do I mean? Look at what’s below; this is an actual email I got from someone hoping to write for me:

“This is Dan.I am a Digital Marketing Specialist.Currently I provide guest post outreach services to my clients.I’ve seen that ,you are also intetested
in my blogging.So here I am going to offer you high quality guest post services.

i am having more than 500+ sites with high page rank and high domain authority (PR-3 to PR-8{DA-30 to DA-94})

Let me know if you have any requirements.I can dafinately help you out.”

Yes, that’s how it was formatted; this is supposed to be a business email… ugh. I ask you, is this great writing? Is this even close to being good? Even if you can’t write, I’m betting you’re looking at this and saying “I could do better than that”, and this person’s promoting himself as a professional writer; please!

I feel compelled to voice some thoughts about the concepts of writing, but first I want to share previous articles I’ve written on the subject, which you might find helpful. I do this for two reasons. One, it helps with my SEO; I’m not too proud to say that. lol Two, because some of the articles are older and might be reaching the point where they can’t be commented on any longer. I give you permission to comment on those articles here if you decide to visit them and you’re not allowed to comment; just make sure you tell me which article you couldn’t comment on. Let’s get started.

If you don’t have a lot of time, then this article giving 10 Writing Tips In 2 Minutes is right up your alley, even though it’s not substantial. I know some people hate reading long articles; that one’s for you. 🙂

In 2008 I put together a 7-part series on blogging and writing, and this was the first post, talking about writing concepts. By the way, not sure if you’ve ever noticed. but on this blog, just under every title, you’ll see links to the previous and subsequent articles. If you’re interested in checking out this whole series, in order, you’ll know which one to click on. 🙂

I always say there’s 3 reasons to blog, and everything else converges into these 3 things: to inform, to educate, and to entertain. When you’re entertaining someone, knowing the art of storytelling can not only help bring visitors to your site but you’ll keep them for a longer period of time because everybody loves a good story.

This final article I’m sharing is the one where I hope I don’t directly copy anything I wrote in it, as I talked about things people may not think of when writing. I’m just glad I didn’t use the word “concepts” in it; then I might actually be plagiarizing myself.

Languages
Chris JL via Compfight

Now that I’ve gotten that bit of self promotion out of the way, let’s see what else I have to say about writing.

I see and hear from too many people who say they can’t think of anything to write about. I’m of the opinion that if you’re saying this either you’re thinking too finitely about your topic or you’re thinking of things but discarding them because you don’t think they’re all that good.

During those periods of time when I’m writing for other people, there are topics I’ve felt I didn’t have much to offer because they seemed limited. One of those was “forensic loan analysis”; I wrote two articles on this topic for someone and then I was tapped, even with a lot of research. If I tried writing about today’s musical artists, I’d be at a total loss; that’s the kind of thing you can’t research and do justice on.

A topic I was never asked to write about was artificial turf, and I can’t imagine ever trying it. Yet a friend of mine, as part of one of her college courses, actually wrote for a company’s blog where this was their product, and she figured out that talking about facilities around the world using it was a great way to keep the idea fresh in visitor’s minds; she was absolutely correct.

So, ideas are always there, and hopefully you have a way to capture those ideas. I like to use Evernote to track most ideas if I’m not at my computer but if I am at the computer I just create a draft in the blog, title that bad boy and off I go. Often I end up writing the post while I’m there but not all the time. This is an idea for you to try; if you think of something, write it down and worry about whether you can actually write on that subject later on.

I figure that for most people what we hear in our heads and what we actually write isn’t always the same thing (I’m thinking about last week’s article; what a dog that was). Something I do quite a bit these days is type a totally different word than what I’m thinking, even while I’m looking at it. That’s freaky, but that’s something new.

What’s old is thinking about something, writing it all out, then realizing later on that I left a word out here and there; that’s something I’ve done most of my life. Our brains are faster than our fingers, and they’ll often make you think you see a word that’s not there; weird right?

YIP Day 70 - More Few
Auntie P via Compfight

However, your words can’t fool your ears. I used to use a plugin called Readspeaker, which allowed you to listen to a robotic voice reading your article to you so you could listen to it if you weren’t in the mood to read it. However, it not only slowed down my blog’s speed but it became a paid product; it didn’t seem worth paying for at the time.

When I write a real long post these days and I want to test it to see if I’ve missed anything, I’ll usually read the entire thing out loud. If you’re competent in any way (and I know any readers of this blog are competent people lol) or at least paying attention to yourself, you’ll hear all errors and omissions. You might not hear capitalization and punctuation issues, but no system is perfect.

Many times you don’t see what’s coming from what seems like an ordinary story. Doing and saying something different from the norm is a pretty cool thing when it’s done right. Very few writers would survive if every person reading their books knows exactly what’s coming or how things are going to end. If you want to see a great example of this technique, go check out Holly Jahangiri’s blog.

I’ve seen many articles lately lamenting the act of focus in what they’re reading these days. Sometimes it’s the fault of the reader in not understanding the relationship between what’s being said, and sometimes it’s the writer’s fault. In the link above, which is on my business blog, I give 6 reasons why focus is important and how it can help you out. I tend to believe that the reason why people are scared of either writing or reading long posts has to do with focus, either not being able to stay alert long enough to read one or not having any idea where one’s writing will go if they do write long.

A truth is that it doesn’t matter if an article is long or short when it comes to focus. I’ve seen 300 word articles that were a mess; now that’s a shame! When writing to educate, you need to focus on the step by step process. When writing to inform, you need to capture a reader’s attention early to give them a reason to stick around for all the details. When writing to entertain, you need to be willing to give the reader a reason to start reading and then be secure enough to tell every detail that can help make the story even more entertaining. Addressing the five senses is a smart way to think about that.

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I’m going to add one more concept about writing, and I’m sure I’ve touched upon this somewhere, but luckily not in that “thoughts” post I linked to above. Whether you’re writing long posts or short posts, no matter the motivation for writing it, there’s nothing saying when an article must be completed.

I tend to write fast, and I doubt there are a lot of people like me writing their blogs. Some folks take a week or two in putting their thoughts together. Research takes time; even this post, which I’ll probably finish writing in about 20 minutes (that’s long for me) took about 45 minutes of research up front before I started, and I’ve taken hours to research some topics before writing on them.

If you’ve written something well enough and compelling enough and it’s not your first time, your audience will wait for you to submit something new. At least they will if you’re writing something on a regular basis. If you’re writing something once every 3 months or longer… don’t expect much from any audience, because you’re probably going to lose whomever you had stopping by consistently. No one’s expecting an article a day unless you’re on a multiple writer platform or you’re making a lot of money from your writing; wouldn’t that be a sweet deal?

There you go, more things to consider on the topic of writing. And look, I even interspersed images to help you along; I’m so nice that way. 😉 Share your thoughts, and of course if you have any questions, just ask.
 

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